Friday, March 4, 2011

The Cold War: Duck and Cover!

After school on Thursdays, I teach the RAS class called "The Cold War: Clash of the Superpowers." Here is the class description from the Rock After School catalog:
For fifty years, the U.S. and the Soviet Union treated the world as a giant game of chess. Come learn about how the end of World War II led to decades of international intrigue and conflict between two bitter enemies.  In this class, we’ll look at the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and a world on the brink of nuclear war.  Students will participate in activities, debates, and will view film reels, and see how the Cold War was portrayed in popular culture.  Learn about important leaders like Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro, and Mikhail Gorbachev.  Whether you’re a history buff, or are just interested in learning more about this time period, this class could be for you!
Yesterday we talked about the beginning of the Cold War and its origins in the ending of WWII. Because of the predominance of nuclear weapons and the scare of all out nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, we watch a very instructional video on the "Duck and Cover" method of survival.

Watch the hilarious informational video below, and maybe practice ducking and covering at home. All you need is someone to scream, "DUCK AND COVER!" Then, that person should yell "ALL CLEAR!" When the air raid drill has subsided.

The Cold War: What Was It?
  • The United States and the Soviet Union battle and scheme for world domination
  • Each gathered allies that shared its ideas about either democracy or communism
  • Began after WWII and ended when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991
Why Was It “COLD”?
  • The United States and the Soviet Union never battled each other’s troops directly
  • Each superpower had “proxies” in different countries that they supported
  • Direct conflict between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. would have resulted in nuclear annihilation
Duck and Cover!
  • The threat of nuclear war is always present
  • The U.S. develops the a-bomb first in 1945, then the Soviets do in 1949 (after spying on the American program)
  • World War is no longer possible without MAD (mutual assured destruction)

Test your knowledge of Cold War political geography: Label the blank map below with as many countries as you can without looking at an Atlas. Bonus points if you label communist-allied countries in red, and U.S.-allied countries in blue. Neutral countries you label in green.

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